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The Injustice of the Government Shutdown

October 3, 2013

It really goes without saying how utterly unfair shutting down the government is to the low level workers (many of whom likely live paycheck to paycheck), while the high government officials doing the shutdown (as well as the President and others) who get paid a lot more, and could afford losing pay, still get theirs. In my old political writings, in response the the previous shutdown almost 20 years ago, I had said: “The biggest irony was in the midst of this whole period, when the federal government was shut down over this wrangling about the deficit. Middle income government workers just stopped receiving paychecks, (needed for rent/mortgage, food and other bills) while both Clinton and Gingrich’s six-figure incomes kept coming. Once again, no one said a word, except the media, and even that was a brief mention. The focus was entirely on Welfare…”. And it still is, with “Obamacare” being the newest form of “welfare” at the center of all this.

Here is a petition to have congress stop receiving their pay while this goes on.

No pay for Congress during the shutdown

Here are some good articles on this:

Obama To Federal Workers: ‘None Of This Is Fair To You’

(Nice that he acknowledges this, but I Wish he would do the big thing and suspend his salary too.
Especially since the Conservatives are already using this against him (ignoring that the Republicans are still getting theirs too), and of course blaming him, and accusing him of blaming Republicans.

It’s being warned all over the place that this could throw us back into a recession, but then this would be good, so the Republicans, the Tea Party and the rest of the haters could really say “Obama destroyed the economy”, to prove he is the “worst president in history”. They will destroy it themselves to prove he is destroying it.

An example of the utter pathology of this thinking, this one is unbelievable, and shows what exactly the Right thinks about the “little people”:

Fox’s Varney On Furloughed Federal Employees: “I Want To Punish These People”

Wall Street Visits Washington, the Grand Bargain Returns and Other Tales from the Kidnap House

Al Gore: GOP Guilty Of ‘Political Terrorism’

This Is What’s Happening To Your Congressman’s Paycheck Thanks To The Government Shutdown

Obama: Government Shut Down By Republicans On ‘An Ideological Crusade’

John Boehner Could End Shutdown Today If He Wanted To

GOP’s shutdown debacle resembles our first … in 1879!

GOP Rep. Kevin Cramer Won’t Give Up Salary During Shutdown Because It’s ‘What I Earn’

When I couldn’t feed my family: My trip to the soup kitchen was an invaluable lesson in humility and charity. I wish Republicans would learn it too
“Punishing the poor for lacking money is bullying those who have found themselves weakened in an economy that is taking no prisoners.”


From → Politics

  1. Some more stories that keep coming up:

    Elizabeth Warren Slams Republican ‘Anarchy Gang’

    Lee Terry Needs His Salary During Government Shutdown To Pay For His ‘Nice House’

    Dennis Ross, GOP Rep: ‘Pride’ Is Why Republicans Won’t Budge On Government Shutdown

    To Understand the Shutdown You Have to Grasp the Mindset of the GOP Base

    Bill Moyers Essay: On the Sabotage of Democracy

    Hillary Clinton: Government Shutdown Shows ‘Scorched Earth’ Politics

    John Kerry Warns Congress: Think ‘Long And Hard’ About Government Shutdown’s Global Message

    Rest Of The World Thinks Congress Is A ‘Laughing Stock’ For Government Shutdown

    Pentagon Furloughs: Most Of Its 400,000 Civilian Employees Ordered Back To Work

    More Than A Half A Million People Sign Petitions Calling For Congress To Surrender Pay During Shutdown

  2. Bob Schieffer Challenges John Cornyn On Obamacare

    Cornyn repeatedly blamed President Obama for refusing to negotiate on defunding or delaying the Affordable Care Act in exchange for raising the debt ceiling and ending the government shutdown. Cornyn referred to the president as “AWOL.”

    “Ted [Cruz] and I share the concern about what Obamacare is doing to our economy.”

    The CBS host responded: “But that’s besides the point. The law has been passed. Why not keep the government running and then everybody can sit down and decide what they want to do about it?”

    Cornyn again tried to lay the blame on Democrats for not allowing Obamacare cuts to be part of a shutdown solution, but Schieffer quickly cut him off.

    “Senator, isn’t there something wrong when you say “I won’t fund the government unless I can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote?

    Lee Terry Apologizes For Refusing To Give Up Salary During Shutdown To Pay For His ‘Nice House’

    Warren Buffett Compares Debt Ceiling Politics To Nuclear Bomb

    Peter King: ‘The Republicans Should Not Have Started This’

    Poll: Republicans’ Handling Of Shutdown Increasingly Unpopular

  3. Boehner’s premis of blaming Obama is that Obama “won’t talk” (negotiate), and that with this, he is demanding “unconditional surrender”

    Here was a good response to his Facebook post where he claims “The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and to bring fairness – reopen the government and bring fairness to the American people under ObamaCare. It’s as simple as that. But it all has to begin with a simple discussion.”

    “The discussion is over – has been for a long time Boehner. You were asked by the President for six months to sit down and have a discussion and you refused. Now you want to talk? Stop holding the country and Democracy hostage by trying to negotiate something that doesn’t exist. The ACA is the law – already in motion. Get over it and do your job.”

  4. Obama: Complaints About Federal Employees ‘Destructive’

    “President Barack Obama says long-standing views that federal workers are lazy or don’t do important work have contributed to the government shutdown. Obama says federal employees work hard daily providing a range of services to veterans, business owners, potential homeowners and others.

    He says he’s been distressed by anti-federal worker rhetoric he calls ‘damaging and destructive.’ He says a contributing factor in the shutdown is the attitude that civil service workers somehow aren’t providing important services and value to the country.”

    Republican Party’s Rating Plummets To ‘Record Low’

    Conservative Columnist: Obamacare Campaign Is ‘Suicide Of The Right’

    Government Shutdown Blamed On Republicans: Poll

    Poll: Republicans ‘Badly Damaged’ By Shutdown Battle

    John McCain Blames Tea Party For Government Shutdown
    (The conservatives have seemingly basically disowned him completely by now, with FB meme’s saying stuff like “maybe it’s time for him to retire”, casting him on the Obama scrap heap, basically).

  5. Conservative Shutdown Architects Host 1 Percent Fundraiser As Nation Hurtles Toward Catastrophe

  6. This Is the Supreme Court’s/(Citizen’s United) Shutdown

    Which leads to (in the comments):
    Koch Industries and Citizens United Back Dissidents

    Bernie Sanders Blames Citizens United For Government Shutdown

    The Ten Hardline Conservatives Pulling the Strings of the GOP Shutdown

    The Tea Party Republicans’ Biggest Mistake: Confusing Government with Our System of Government

    Morgan Griffith, GOP Rep, Compares Default To American Revolution

    “We have to make a decision that’s right long-term for the United States, and what may be distasteful, unpleasant and not appropriate in the short run may be something that has to be done,” Griffith said, according to The Hill. “I will remind you that this group of renegades that decided that they wanted to break from the crown in 1776 did great damage to the economy of the colonies. They created the greatest nation and the best form of government, but they did damage to the economy in the short run.”

    Meaning, if they destroy the economy, they can still blame it on Obama.

    The Radicalization of the GOP is the Most Important Political Story Today

    What ‘Defunding Obamacare’ Really Means

    Congress Getting Paid During Shutdown Strikes A Nerve

    Furloughed Workers, Military Vets Facing Creditors, Draining 401Ks

    The American Public’s Shocking Lack of Policy Knowledge is a Threat to Progress and Democracy

  7. House Republicans Changed The Rules So A Majority Vote Couldn’t Stop The Government Shutdown

    This Isn’t The Party Of Abraham Lincoln, And It Hasn’t Been For A Long Damned Time

    Mike Huckabee: Shutdown A ‘Stupid Tactical Blunder’ For Republicans

    Poll: Republicans’ Handling Of Shutdown Gets Low Marks From 3 Out Of 4 Americans

  8. Baby Bargains ‘Like The Tea Party’ In Satirical CollegeHumor Short

    Here’s a hard hitting one:
    Frightened people in Congress who won’t accept a black President are what’s causing the deadlock

    Debbie Wasserman-Schultz On The Real Reasons Behind The Government Shutdown

    And another that really goes indepth:
    The Tea Party’s own hate will eat it alive

    But what was different then was that Nixon gave a farewell address that was nearly Shakespearean in its tragic insight. Tricky Dick said that once a person begins to suffer from the disillusionment of feeling and asserting hatred for opponents, that person will self-destruct.

    None of the pop psychoanalysis of Nixon went as deep as what the man saw and expressed about himself. Today’s Republicans, by contrast, have no such insight into their own depths. [Eripedia note: i.e, the “shadow” concept I point out in the “Makers-takers’ book]

    Instead, the Tea Party tail has been wagging the canine, in time to the hollow barking of Ted Cruz and his House allies who benefitted from the gerrymandering that gives political shelter to old, ugly growths with roots reaching back to the Confederate bitterness that followed the Civil War, itself a conflict which the South was not prepared to win.

    Segregation grew out of the North’s willingness to sacrifice black people in order to get back together with the bitter confederates. Thusly, the South lost the shooting fight but won the policy war.

    (To end on the article’s positive note):

    That is horrible history, but such bigoted bloodshed could not last forever in the face of black American optimism, a great force of ongoing heroism no matter the hysteria of social limitations…

    Even so, we will come through all of this because, as some GOP members are saying, money still talks and the shutdown has put it in competition with hatred, which — as Nixon pointed out — will destroy itself.

    More polls:
    Americans Mad At Everyone Over Federal Government Shutdown, But More Blame Republicans

  9. 15 Reasons Why American Politics Has Become An Apocalyptic Mess

    Peter King On GOP: ‘This Party Is Going Nuts’

    GOP Debt Ceiling Truthers Want You To Listen To Them, Not The Experts. What Could Go Wrong?

  10. First I see this:
    Bipartisan Deal In Hand To Reopen Government, Avoid Default: Kelly Ayotte

    Then, later, evidence of it finally going through:

    John Boehner: ‘We Just Didn’t Win’

    Rush Limbaugh On GOP: ‘One Of The Greatest Political Disasters I’ve Ever Seen’

    John Boehner Should Probably Avoid His Facebook Page For Awhile After Shutdown Climax

    In these last two, ultraconservatives begin disowning Republicans.
    Makes me think back a few years ago, where there was a liberal and a conservative demonstration on the Capitol Mall in Washington, and conservatives commented on how clean they left it, and how dirty the liberals left it, and were using this as the ultimate character judgment against the Left. Still not sure how true those reports were, and if the truth was being spun in whatever way there. But even if the conservatives were physically cleaner, in these comments toward Boehner, you can see how truly dirty their hearts are!
    All because they were not able to pull off bringing down either Obamacare, or bringing down the whole economy in retaliation and having it pinned on Obama!

    Now, the retrospection begins:

    Senate Republicans: GOP Didn’t Gain Anything By Forcing Shutdown

    Finally, by evening:

    Government Shutdown: Congress Votes To End Funding, Debt Standoff (UPDATE)

    “The government shutdown is dead. Obamacare is alive…”

    Republicans Back Down, Ending Crisis Over Shutdown and Debt Limit

  11. Why Elizabeth Warren Is ‘NOT Celebrating’ The End Of The Government Shutdown

    Will the GOP learn from its failures?

    The Shutdown Is Over! So … What Happens Now?

    Michele Bachmann: Government Reopening Is ‘A Very Sad Day’

    John McCain: ‘I Guarantee’ Government Won’t Shut Down Again

    More on these super-rich figures (whose JBS-founding father was worried about the negative influence of blacks and communism) behind all this

    A Field Guide to the Koch O’ Nuts Behind the Near Government Default

  12. Government Shutdown’s Impact Detailed In New Report

    And I’ve seen conservatives make a meme out of it, that it’s another “liberal lie”. It’s like the tables have turned, and it’s the conservatives denying something they have done have cost the taxpayers money.

  13. Missed this one:

    Tea party ringleader admits the GOP shut down the government for nothing

    Ran across it from this article from today:
    John Boehner’s Budget Outburst Shows Right-Wing Groups Have Jumped The Shark

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